Junior Fellowships are awarded to students who are about to complete, or have recently completed, their undergraduate course of study and plan to begin graduate work on a full-time basis. Junior Fellows have two years to complete their degree. The Fellowships are intended exclusively for graduate study leading to a master's degree. James Madison Fellows can attend any accredited institution of higher education in the United States.

Each individual entering the James Madison Fellowship Program will be expected to pursue and complete a master's degree in one of the following (listed in order of preference):

  • Master of Arts degree (MA) in American history or in political science (also referred to as "government and politics" or as "government");
  • Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) concentrating on either American Constitutional history (in a history department) or American government, political institutions and political theory (in a political science department);
  • Master of Education degree (MEd) or the Master of Arts or Master of Science in Education, with a concentration in American history or American government, political institutions, and political theory.

The Fellow's proposed plan of graduate study should contain at least 12 credits in constitutional course work. Fellows are encouraged to choose institutions which offer courses that closely examine the origins and development of the U.S. Constitution, the evolution of political theory and constitutional law, the effects of the Constitution on society and culture in the United States, or other such topics directly related to the Constitution.

Nomination from Hamilton is required. Hamilton may nominate two students annually.

  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
  • Applicants must be planning to become a teacher, of American history, American government, or social studies at the secondary school level.
  • If applicants already have a graduate degree, must wait at least three years from the time that degree was awarded before applying for a Fellowship.
  • Applicants must either currently possess a bachelor's degree, or plan to receive a bachelor's degree no later then August 31 of the year in which you are applying.


The Selection Committee considers strongly:

  • A serious commitment to a career in teaching American history, American government, or social studies at the secondary level.

  • The intent to pursue a program of graduate study that emphasizes the Constitution and offers classroom instruction in that subject.
  • Civic mindedness and participation in community activities or organizations. For example, those activities you have participated in that foster democratic values and citizenship — internships, political campaigns, scouting, student government, etc.
  • The approximately 600-word essay in which you explain why you believe the study of the Constitution is an essential part of secondary school education.
  • Past academic achievement.
  • Evaluations from faculty, supervisors, colleagues, or other professional persons who can attest to your intellect, professional abilities or potential, and overall character for this fellowship.


March 1, 2010

Visit the James Madison Fellowship Website for more information.


Contact Name

Lisa Grimes

Student Fellowships Coordinator

Office Location
Bristol Center

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